82nd Aviation Brigade returns home

January 25, 2008 8:48:41 AM PST
About 350 paratroopers from the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade reunited with their families Thursday morning.

The soldiers spent the past year in Afghanistan, and most of them have a lot of catching up to do.

Sergeant Timothy Hoskinson missed the birth of his youngest child. "[It's] very emotionional," Hoskinson said. "I've been waiting for this moment since the day I left. So, It's hard to watch my babies grow up seeing them in pictures and seeing all the new things they do and I can't be there."

Another soldier described his time away as traumatic.

"It's been traumatic," Sgt. Antoine Duchatelier said. "The past couple of years with most deployments being back and forth, back and forth, you know, it gets a little bit harder every time. And the reunions, they just get a little bit sweeter every time, though."

Some soldiers say the reunion is like Christman for adults.

Now the unit will go on a 30-day block leave and get reaquainted with their families. Once they return to Fort Bragg, they'll train and probably redeploy to Afghanistan in about a year.

The most recent mission was very difficult for the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade. They were responsible for all U.S. aircraft in the region.

Many pilots say Afghanistan is one of the toughest places in the world to fly helicopters because of the altitude and mountains.

Nonetheless, the command says the unit did an outstanding job and everyone is looking forward to a little time off.


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